genetics of normal variation

Genetic Future

Category archives for genetics of normal variation

Disclaimer: I was one of the authors on a 2003 study reporting a link between ACTN3 and athletic performance, but I have no financial interest in ACTN3 gene testing. The opinions expressed in this post are purely my own. An article in the NY Times yesterday describes the launch of the grandiosely named Athletic Talent…

One of the major challenges of the personal genomic era will be knowing exactly which (if any) of the millions of genetic variants present in your genome are likely to actually have an impact on your health. Such predictions are particularly problematic for regulatory variants – genetic changes that alter the expression levels of genes,…

Baldness genes: one old, one new

From a geneticist’s point of view, male pattern baldness – also known as androgenic alopecia – is a tempting target. Baldness is common in the general population, with a prevalence that increases sharply with age (as a rule of thumb, a male’s percentage risk of baldness is approximately equal to his age, e.g. 50% at…

Nature News has an intriguing article on the next three decades of reproductive medicine: essentially a series of short musings from scientists working in the field about the issues we will be facing in 30 year’s time. It’s worth reading through in full, but this statement from Susannah Baruch at Johns Hopkins caught my eye:…

Anyone who has walked past a TV set over the last few days will have seen footage of the remarkable Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who comfortably cruised to victory (and a world record) in the Olympic 100 metre sprint, and as I write this has just done precisely the same thing in the 200 metre…

I have every intention of living forever, but I’m deeply aware of a number of factors that stand in my way. I’m not female, for a start; I wasn’t born to a young mother; I enjoy my food far too much to ever consider caloric restriction; and I hate exercise with a passion. So right…

Note: I’m splitting this off from my earlier post on 23andMe’s encouragement of genetic testing of children, since I think this rather speculative argument distracts from the main point of that post. I mentioned in my previous post that there’s a real danger that parents might try to use information from current genetic tests to…